From beaded necklaces made in ancient times to luxury brands such as Cartier and Harry Winston, jewellery has taken its fair number of shapes and sizes throughout the centuries. Designing jewellery comes from mastering the skills of drafting, designing, and working with more materials than one can name. Whether you’re creating sophisticated and polished pieces or raw and unique designs, accessory designing is an area in which there is no fixed path to success.
We talked with Maria Glezelli, a Greek jewellery designer based in London to better understand the role of accessories in the world of fashion. “It was when I was studying and researching the boundaries between fashion and art that I realised how a piece of art may be connected to a female body and define its identity,’ says Glezelli, “I believe that the human body is the most intriguing medium you can use to explore and express your own aesthetics.”
Glezelli studied in Greece, at the University of Fine Arts, and it was there that she first came in contact with metal. “I immediately started to experiment with it, trying to reshape it and push its boundaries,” admits the designer. After a final graduate project that focused on wearable garments made through the means of metal, Glezelli’s path to becoming a jewellery designer was never put to a stop.
The then soon-to-be established designer went on to work as a freelancer by creating original designs in her workshop in Greece. “I can proudly say that I created everything from scratch. From design to production, my jewellery pieces were brought to life by me,” Glezelli reveals. For Glezelli, jewellery should be a part of a bigger narrative. “Every piece I create has a story behind it. My main idea that I want to establish is the connection with our heritage, our bond to the past, to our present, and to the future,” she says. “l’ ve found that jewellery can express our inner selves, our thoughts and beliefs. Jewellery can narrate historical moments and it even has the power to define entire civilisations,” adds the designer.
Being a jewellery designer means facing the familiar struggles of the fashion industry. Balancing production costs with uniqueness and exclusivity isn’t always easy. “One of my biggest challenges is trying to be creative and innovative at the same time that I’m trying to create a product that needs to be commercially successful,” admits Glezelli.
But where do fashion and jewellery intersect? For Glezelli, it’s all about how both areas connect by exploring and showcasing the human body. “Both fashion and jewellery can add a unique touch to our styles and showcase our personalities,” she says. “My goal is always to create wearable pieces that, not only enhance the wear- er’s potential to its fullest but also makes them free to wear my designs in all sorts of different ways,” concludes Glezelli.
Where to next? To freedom.
By Rita Petrone